This week’s cycling led to encounters with orchids and cowslips, the steepest hill in the region, a friendly moose, a fox, also a number of squirrels, a grass snake and many birds of prey, and all less than ten kilometres from where I live.
I’m EXHAUSTED. An anxious morning for no real reason - the cat lovingly woke me up at 7:30 for food and I couldn’t get back to sleep. So I spent the morning lounging and generally feeling miserable and headed out for a cycle in the afternoon.
I cycled to a nearby town over a mile-long pedestrian bridge. It was 29 miles (!!!) round trip that I did in 2:24. I was nervous for such a long solo cycle but it was so nice!! Most of it was on cycle paths - only roads to get out of the city. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it there and back and told the boy that he might need to pick me up haha. But I had a second wind heading back and flew home! Bad mood gone and now watching tv after a tasty dinner 😊
I accidentally discovered road cycling this spring and now my life is not the same. It’s a lot like I’ve joined a cult, or had a child. I can’t go anywhere without the presence of my bike. My sense of distance has become deeply warped. What used to be far is no longer even a decent workout. If it hadn’t been for the roadtrip this summer I think my car would feel thoroughly neglected, because why use that when you can get a few more kilometres on the bike instead?! I think my friends are also reluctantly getting used to me standing in front of their door with a lop-sided smile asking “is it okay if I bring it inside?”.
It wasn’t meant to go like this. I bought the bike for a challenge where the challenge itself sort of was the goal (still working on that one, aiming for a 315 kilometre race next year). I wanted to kill that distance. I wanted to be able to tell myself you can do that and then do it. But then I got the bike and at first it was so different from what I was used to, I felt like Bambi on them slick tires but then…
I mean I’m no novice on a bike. I’ve ridden bikes since I was a kid. I spent my summers riding and playing around on bikes. I didn’t consider it to be summer until my first scraped knee from the various dumbass shit I tried out and failed while on a bike. Even as an adult they’ve always been there. I live in a bike friendly city, in fact I’ve lived in several bike friendly cities. This however was…different. Or more of that old passion, the knee scraping kind of childhood joys. It’s just pure fucking fun to be on that bike. There is a speed and smoothness when you’re on a road bike. I used to scoff at them, oh you know the ones- all these middle-aged men in lycra with way too expensive carbon bikes. I could not understand what they saw in it. Now I unfortunately do. You can be on that bike for hours and it doesn’t feel like a workout, it just feels good. You just sort of drift through the landscape or the city in an almost zen-like state. Stretching your legs and going “well just five more kilometres”. The speed is addictive and makes you want to work your muscles harder so you can become even faster. It matches the sensation you have when you are free flying in your dreams.
It has become an addiction. A bloody expensive one too. I no longer seem to have a paycheck land in my account it simply breezes through and is then sunk into this new hobby of mine. I am already looking into which bike I’ll upgrade too after this beginners bike. I spend my spare time comparing Campagnolo and Shimano groupsets and daydreaming about places I want to go ride my bike. It’s not where I thought this would go. I thought I’d do the challenge and then be done with this, not that I’d discover a new love.
There is nothing, nothing about 2020 that is turning out the way I assumed, but at least not all of it is bad. Because this was a joy to discover. My friends and my wallet might not agree, but for me, pure joy.